Sci­en­tist in­vents own brew­ery

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A Cromwell sci­en­tist who has been brew­ing up con­coc­tions in his spare time is about to turn his ‘‘labour of love’’ into a busi­ness.

Claude Mid­g­ley, 37, is open­ing a Cromwell tap­room, fea­tur­ing his Seahorse Brew­ery beers, out of dis­used space at Wine So­lu­tions, a busi­ness neigh­bour­ing his con­sult­ing firm on Pinot Noir Drive.

‘‘Luck­ily our neigh­bours are awe­some and they have a space with an off-li­cence ex­ist­ing al­ready they don’t re­ally use. They have a lovely lit­tle space set up. Their aim was to have a pub there even­tu­ally and this will be the first step in get­ting to that.

‘‘We will have the tap­room op­er­at­ing, then by spring or sum­mer they are work­ing to get on­li­cence so peo­ple can come in and have a pint or a glass of wine, but for now you will be able to buy bot­tles of beer or fill up rig­gers which will min­imise waste.’’

Mid­g­ley, an eco­log­i­cal sci­en­tist, and his geotech en­gi­neer wife moved to Cromwell last year from Christchurch where they had moved from Auck­land to help with the earthquake re­build.

‘‘Com­ing to Cromwell gave us the op­por­tu­nity to start our own con­sul­tancy with the land devel­op­ment side of things, but we have free time and space. We de­cided we would have a go set- ting up a small brew­ery.

‘‘I no­ticed the pro­lif­er­a­tion of small brew­eries and tap­rooms in Christchurch and Oa­maru, Dunedin, even Wanaka. There has been a few new ones start­ing up around Cen­tral Otago - mostly in Wanaka, but I thought Cromwell could do with one as well.’’

Af­ter months of up-cy­cling brew­ing equip­ment, con­vert­ing ex­tra of­fice space into a lab­ora- tory for per­fect­ing beer recipes - he is ready to sell his prod­uct to the pub­lic.

‘‘We are very happy. This has been the long­est labour of love to try and get to this point to sell beer to the pub­lic in Cromwell. We have had a cus­tomers li­cence for a few months now and have been sell­ing to Christchurch, Queen­stown, Wanaka and Dunedin in kegs, and we have just had first pel­let of small bot­tles de­liv­ered. The beers have been com­ing out great. I want to find a recipe that cov­ers a broader range for the beer drink­ing pub­lic.’’

The cou­ple had com­bined their love of the sea and horses to come up with the name Seahorse Brew­ery, he said.

The tap­room will have its of­fi­cial open­ing at Wine So­lu­tions on Fri­day at 4pm.

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Seahorse Brew­ery owner and brewer Claude Mid­g­ley, of Cromwell.

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